What is heartworm disease? Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by infection with the Dirofilaria immitis parasite. The larvae are transmitted through the bite of a mosquito carrying the infective stage of heartworm. Heartworms mature and migrate throughout the body, eventually inhabiting the arteries of the lungs and the right side of the heart.
Q: Why should my dog be tested for heartworm disease?
Answer: Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitos and is currently found in all 50 states. In our hospital alone, we currently have 5 heartworm positive dogs. Heartworm disease shows no signs in the early stages which makes testing even more necessary.
Q: How often should my dog be tested?
Answer: Heartworm screening should be performed annually. Yearly testing ensures that your dog is heartworm-free and preventatives are working. And, if your dog is infected, early detection can improve treatment outcomes.
Q: What does it mean if my dog tests positive for heartworms?
Answer: A positive test result indicates, with a high degree of certainty that heartworms are in the pulmonary arteries or in the right chamber of the dog’s heart. Treatment is very expensive but most dogs can successfully be treated if the infection is detected early. If the infection is left untreated, the disease will progress and eventually cause death.
Q: How can I prevent heartworm disease in my dog?
Answer: Heartworm risk is year-round. No matter whether they’re indoors or out. That is why continuous protection is critical. All our clients and their pets have different lifestyles, which is why we offer more than one option of heartworm preventative. You can choose which works best for you.
Heartgard Plus – is a real beef chew given at the same time each month to prevent heartworm disease, treat and control roundworm and hookworm infections.
Pro Heart 6 – is for those of you who struggle with giving a monthly preventative on time, we have the solution for you. Pro Heart 6 is one injection given at our office that will protect against heartworm disease for 6 months.
Contact our office with any questions you may have regarding preventatives or to purchase/and or set up appointment for testing or a preventative injection.